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  1. Pearl Ambassador USA

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    Default Head options and tuning techniques by Gene Okamoto

    I've been monitoring the issues on the Forum surrounding choices of heads and tuning techniques for Reference and I thought we could make this thread the "go to" spot for these issues.

    I’ve been also monitoring the tuning issues with 12" Reference toms that some of you have experienced. We have never encountered tuning difficulties with any Reference toms and we've tuned a lot of them at NAMM, Messe, and PASIC! HOWEVER, since Reference was introduced, there were a couple of factory modifications applied to the OPTN "new-style" one-piece OptiMounts that provide better cushioning between the OptiMount and the shell, especially on 12” Reference toms.

    Please kindly see the attached PDF.

    There are two versions of the OPTN OptiMounts: I have them labeled "Type A" and "Type B". Type A OptiMounts have the flange facing downward on both the top and bottom OptiMounts. On Type B OptiMounts the flange on the top and bottom OptiMounts face toward each other.

    Regardless of which type you have, the orientation of the rubber washers is important.

    If you have Type A OptiMounts and the rubber washers are oriented as shown in the grey diagram (upper left-hand corner), please contact me and I’ll get you the new-style NP-419 rubber washers that give better cushioning. When you receive them, install them per the diagram at the upper right with the rubber washers oriented as shown in RED.

    If you have Type B OptiMounts and the rubber washers are oriented as shown in the grey diagram (bottom left-hand corner), please contact me and I’ll get you the new style NP-419 rubber washers that give better cushioning. When you receive them, install them per the diagram at the bottom right with the rubber washers oriented as shown in RED.

    If you need the new-style NP-419 rubber washers, please contact me at [email protected]. Please note, this upgrade is applicable only of US customers. European customers should contact Jeroen Breider at [email protected].

    Here's a photo showing the "flange" and the recommended orientation of the rubber washer.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. Pearl Ambassador USA

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    Default Speaking of OptiMounts

    Speaking of OptiMounts, when we do trade shows, we set them up differently than the factory.

    Instead of sandwiching the top and bottom lugs--like they’re installed at the factory--we let the top hoop rest on the top rubber washers and set the bottom rubber washers between the lugs and the bottom hoop to allow the drums to “float.” We feel this method allows the toms to resonate better.

    The photos below show the "old-style" OptiMounts but the idea is the same.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  3. Drum addict

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    Default

    Hmm. Watch out when changing heads with the "float" method because the mount will NOT hold up the tom.
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  4. Pearl Ambassador USA

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    Default

    Good point...thank you!

  5. Drum addict

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gene okamoto
    Good point...thank you!
    Gene, I was referring to the old opti picture with my comment. With the swivel lugs, there is NO WAY the mount could ever hold up the tom once the t-rods are removed from the top hoop.

    With the old style lugs, and the bushings pushed against the receivers, one can take the top head off and the drum will remain steady while mounted. With the new swivel lugs and with your "float" method and the old style lugs, fugedaboutit!
    2001 MRX Platinum Mist
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  6. Registered User

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gene okamoto
    Speaking of OptiMounts, when we do trade shows, we set them up differently than the factory.

    Instead of sandwiching the top and bottom lugs--like they’re installed at the factory--we let the top hoop rest on the top rubber washers and set the bottom rubber washers between the lugs and the bottom hoop to allow the drums to “float.” We feel this method allows the toms to resonate better.

    The photos below show the "old-style" OptiMounts but the idea is the same.
    Hi Gene,

    Could you comment a little further on this?

    By allowing the top bushings to contact the hoop, the drum is not floating, it is resting on the hoop. I would think that the two areas you don't want to apply mount forces to are the tension rods away from the strength of the lug and the hoop itself. These are the areas that can most easily affect tuning.

    I have always thought that the most intelligent way to adjust the Optimounts is to collapse the mount tightly up against the lugs. The weight of the drum then rests on the lower bushings through the lower lugs. The upper bushings are close to the lug where the strength of the lug is and where they can cause the least amount of deflection in the tension rods.

    Since the hoop floats on the head and the head floats on the shell, all the mount forces ultimately get transferred into the shell through the lug attachment screws anyway. Doesn't it make more sense to get the Optimount forces as close to the lug and as far from the hoops as possible?

    I appreciate your many valuable contributions to this forum. If you have any access to to Pearl engineers, I would be interested to hear their views on this subject.

    Thanks,
    Jeff Brandt

  7. Natural Finish Army

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jbrandt
    Hi Gene,

    Could you comment a little further on this?

    By allowing the top bushings to contact the hoop, the drum is not floating, it is resting on the hoop. I would think that the two areas you don't want to apply mount forces to are the tension rods away from the strength of the lug and the hoop itself. These are the areas that can most easily affect tuning.

    I have always thought that the most intelligent way to adjust the Optimounts is to collapse the mount tightly up against the lugs. The weight of the drum then rests on the lower bushings through the lower lugs. The upper bushings are close to the lug where the strength of the lug is and where they can cause the least amount of deflection in the tension rods.

    Since the hoop floats on the head and the head floats on the shell, all the mount forces ultimately get transferred into the shell through the lug attachment screws anyway. Doesn't it make more sense to get the Optimount forces as close to the lug and as far from the hoops as possible?

    I appreciate your many valuable contributions to this forum. If you have any access to to Pearl engineers, I would be interested to hear their views on this subject.

    Thanks,
    Jeff Brandt

    Gene, I'd like to here your reply to this.

    Also, If you are relying on the hoop to hold up the drum. Why not just use the I.S.S. mounts.

  8. Drum addict

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    Default

    Why isn't this a sticky?

    I just got around to going with Gene's suggestions on the Optmounts and had to search around for this thread.
    2001 MRX Platinum Mist
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    2006 Ref Purple Craze

  9. Drum addict

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpcdrummer
    Why isn't this a sticky?

    I just got around to going with Gene's suggestions on the Optmounts and had to search around for this thread.
    Anybody, anybody, Bueller?
    2001 MRX Platinum Mist
    2002 BRX Wine Red
    2006 Ref Purple Craze

  10. Registered User

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jbrandt
    Hi Gene,

    Could you comment a little further on this?

    By allowing the top bushings to contact the hoop, the drum is not floating, it is resting on the hoop. I would think that the two areas you don't want to apply mount forces to are the tension rods away from the strength of the lug and the hoop itself. These are the areas that can most easily affect tuning.

    I have always thought that the most intelligent way to adjust the Optimounts is to collapse the mount tightly up against the lugs. The weight of the drum then rests on the lower bushings through the lower lugs. The upper bushings are close to the lug where the strength of the lug is and where they can cause the least amount of deflection in the tension rods.

    Since the hoop floats on the head and the head floats on the shell, all the mount forces ultimately get transferred into the shell through the lug attachment screws anyway. Doesn't it make more sense to get the Optimount forces as close to the lug and as far from the hoops as possible?

    I appreciate your many valuable contributions to this forum. If you have any access to to Pearl engineers, I would be interested to hear their views on this subject.

    Thanks,
    Jeff Brandt
    Regardless of how you adjust the OptiMount, the drum is not going to "float". The drum can't float because the Opti supports only one side of the drum. Because of this, the front of the drum naturally wants to lean downward. However, because the OptiMount is firmly "rooted" on the tom arm/stand, the mount doesn't want to let the drum lean where it naturally wants to lean. The mount and the drum "fight" each other. The result is that the mount pulls the top two lugs/T-rods away from the shell and pushes the bottom two lugs/T-rods toward the shell. These are lateral stress points on the shell, which may result in the entire shell not vibrating uniformly.
    For better resonance and sustain, instead of "sandwiching" the lugs between the grommets, Gene O. recommends positioning the OptiMount so that the top hoop rests on the grommets. Why? I'm guessing that it is to reduce the amount of pressure on the shell.
    The closer the grommets are to the lugs, the harder the mount pulls/pushes the lugs away from/toward the shell. Moving the grommets away from the lugs and toward the hoops relieves some of the pressure on the shell. Now, instead of a more concentrated pushing and pulling force applied to the lugs, the pushing and pulling forces are more concentrated to the upper portions of the T-rods. Less direct pressure on the lugs = less pressure on the shell. However, now the mount is pulling/pushing against T-rods, which causes the T-rods to push/pull against the hoops. When the Opti "sandwiches" the lugs, more lateral force is applied to the lugs. When the Opti is re-positioned so that the grommets contact the hoops, more lateral force is applied to the hoops. Which positioning provides the best results? I don't know. I'm guessing that the "sandwich" method has more of an effect on shell resonance while the "float" method, while alleviating SOME of the pressure against the shell, has more of an effect on the actual tuning of the heads.
    I've tried Gene O's "float" method. It helped a bit, but not much. With the float method, because the mount was pulling and pushing against the T-rods (thus "binding" them), I felt as if I needed to use a power drill in order to tighten/loosen the T-rods at the Opti's four attachment points.

    I may be way off base, but that's how I see it.
    Last edited by bill f; 02-15-2008 at 10:13 AM. Reason: addition

  11. Registered User

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bill f
    Regardless of how you adjust the OptiMount, the drum is not going to "float". The drum can't float because the Opti supports only one side of the drum. Because of this, the drum naturally wants to lean downward. However, because the OptiMount is firmly "rooted" on the tom arm/stand, the mount doesn't want to let the drum lean where it naturally wants to lean. The mount and the drum "fight" each other. The result is that the mount pulls the top two lugs/T-rods away from the shell and pushes the bottom two lugs/T-rods toward the shell. These are lateral stress points on the shell, which may result in the entire shell not vibrating uniformly.
    For better resonance and sustain, instead of "sandwiching" the lugs between the grommets, Gene O. recommends positioning the OptiMount so that the top hoop rests on the grommets. Why? I'm guessing that it is to reduce the amount of pressure on the shell.
    The closer the grommets are to the lugs, the harder the mount pulls/pushes the lugs away from/toward the shell. Moving the grommets away from the lugs and toward the hoops relieves some of the pressure on the shell. Now, instead of a more concentrated pushing and pulling force applied to the lugs, the pushing and pulling forces are more concentrated to the upper portions of the T-rods. Less direct pressure on the lugs = less pressure on the shell. However, now the mount is pulling/pushing against T-rods, which causes the T-rods to push/pull against the hoops. When the Opti "sandwiches" the lugs, more lateral force is applied to the lugs. When the Opti is re-positioned so that the grommets contact the hoops, more lateral force is applied to the hoops. Which positioning provides the best results? I don't know. I'm guessing that the "sandwich" method has more of an effect on shell resonance while the "float" method, while alleviating SOME of the pressure against the shell, has more of an effect on the actual tuning of the heads.
    I've tried Gene O's "float" method. It helped a bit, but not much. With the float method, because the mount was pulling and pushing against the T-rods (thus "binding" them), I felt as if I needed to use a power drill in order to tighten/loosen the T-rods at the Opti's four attachment points.

    I may be way off base, but that's how I see it.
    NO, You are right on with everything you said.
    Dan
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  12. Drum addict

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    Quote Originally Posted by bill f
    Regardless of how you adjust the OptiMount, the drum is not going to "float". The drum can't float because the Opti supports only one side of the drum. Because of this, the front of the drum naturally wants to lean downward. However, because the OptiMount is firmly "rooted" on the tom arm/stand, the mount doesn't want to let the drum lean where it naturally wants to lean. The mount and the drum "fight" each other. The result is that the mount pulls the top two lugs/T-rods away from the shell and pushes the bottom two lugs/T-rods toward the shell. These are lateral stress points on the shell, which may result in the entire shell not vibrating uniformly.
    For better resonance and sustain, instead of "sandwiching" the lugs between the grommets, Gene O. recommends positioning the OptiMount so that the top hoop rests on the grommets. Why? I'm guessing that it is to reduce the amount of pressure on the shell.
    The closer the grommets are to the lugs, the harder the mount pulls/pushes the lugs away from/toward the shell. Moving the grommets away from the lugs and toward the hoops relieves some of the pressure on the shell. Now, instead of a more concentrated pushing and pulling force applied to the lugs, the pushing and pulling forces are more concentrated to the upper portions of the T-rods. Less direct pressure on the lugs = less pressure on the shell. However, now the mount is pulling/pushing against T-rods, which causes the T-rods to push/pull against the hoops. When the Opti "sandwiches" the lugs, more lateral force is applied to the lugs. When the Opti is re-positioned so that the grommets contact the hoops, more lateral force is applied to the hoops. Which positioning provides the best results? I don't know. I'm guessing that the "sandwich" method has more of an effect on shell resonance while the "float" method, while alleviating SOME of the pressure against the shell, has more of an effect on the actual tuning of the heads.
    I've tried Gene O's "float" method. It helped a bit, but not much. With the float method, because the mount was pulling and pushing against the T-rods (thus "binding" them), I felt as if I needed to use a power drill in order to tighten/loosen the T-rods at the Opti's four attachment points.

    I may be way off base, but that's how I see it.
    Survey says, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx!

    No matter where you put the grommets, the forces on the shell are pretty much the same. This is not true of course if you are sandwiching the lugs and pushing the optimount together with force and then tightening the bolts. But otherwise, EVERYTHING is connected and therefore ALL the forces are transmitted to the shell NO MATTER WHAT MOUNTING SYSTEM YOU USE! Sorry, don't mean to yell but there is a serious lack of basic understanding of how forces are resolved. ALL forces must resolve to ZERO. Without that, your drum would be moving around the room. The shell therefore gets all the forces no matter what you do. However, as I said earlier, these forces are only due to the weight of the drum, lugs, hoops, and heads. Now, the torque you speak of is still there with the RIMS mount. You are twising the t-rods based on the angle of your drum. This torque is transferred to the shell. No way to avoid it.

    I just did an experiment that you should all try. I took an optimounted drum and mounted it vertically so the heads were perpendicular to the floor. According to your torque theory, this should completely open up the drum because at this angle, there is NO torque on the shell. I played it. Then I moved it 90 degrees so the heads were parallel to the floor. Guess what...NO DIFFERENCE. Shouldn't I have heard SOMETHING??????
    2001 MRX Platinum Mist
    2002 BRX Wine Red
    2006 Ref Purple Craze

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